What's your natural brilliance - your unique collection of strengths, talents, abilities, skills, experience, etc. that make up YOU? Did you pause? Did you close your eyes to think about it? Did you think, “Hmm, what DO I really love to do”? Consider for a moment being SO engaged in an activity that hours fly by like minutes, and minutes like seconds. For many, it seems impossible to figure out. Why? Because we’ve been so conditioned to listen to everyone except ourselves. Others can certainly provide some insight, but they’re not experts on what YOU want. You are the only YOU expert!
If your desire is to identify a college major or work of choice that reflects who you want to be, how you want to show up in the world, what you really want, and what you want to contribute, you must get quiet, turn down the volume on all the noise outside of you – the expectations, opinions, shoulds, criticisms, judgments and dreams of others so you can hear the faint whispers of your own unique voice, your inner wisdom, that voice that IS the YOU expert.
Some believe they’ll never figure it out. And if that is your belief, you’re right, you won’t. Remember Henry Ford’s words, “If you believe you can’t or believe you can, you’re right.” So, if you believe it's as possible for you as it is for anyone else, you can identify your natural brilliance (also referred to as your genius, calling, super powers, life’s work, etc.) and begin designing a life and work life that allows you to engage in the kind of work that results in genuine joy, satisfaction, meaning and fulfillment. Work that allows you to make the kind of contribution you really want to make.
If getting still and quiet is hard for you, try taking a walk or grabbing your favorite notebook or journal, and your favorite pen or pencil to jot down your thoughts and feelings. It’s been said that writing is a direct connection to the heart. That’s exactly what I'm suggesting here, that you explore not only your thoughts, but also your feelings – tap into that heart space. Really listen to those gentle whispers that you’ve probably been repressing and ignoring, no doubt, for years.
Julia Cameron encourages this kind of introspective writing in her book, "The Artist's Way." She calls them morning pages and encourages those who go through the creative process in her book to write three pages per day. It's a stream of consciousness approach where you simply capture on paper whatever comes to mind, no matter what it is. It may be pretty, it may not be. The goal is just to write whatever comes to mind. If three pages seem a bit much, start with one page.
This is just a first step to learning how to listen to your own inner wisdom. In future episodes, we'll expand this discussion. For now, see if you can spend about 5-10 minutes each day for a week sitting still and being quiet, or taking a walk or doing some stream of consciousness writing. Then, increase it to two weeks, then three, etc.
In this episode, I also suggested taking a look at Elle Luna's book, "The Crossroads of Should and Must." If the whole passion discussion leaves a bad taste in your mouth, no worries. Ignore the word "passion" and dig into her rich discussion around learning to identify your "must" and stop being a slave to all of the "shoulds."
For those of you eager to tap into your own inner wisdom, until you get a better feel for the practice, I recommend exploring your inner landscape with the help of these excellent resources. Review the book description and the reviews (positive and negative) on Amazon. Then, get quiet and try listening to your inner wisdom; see if the book feels like a good choice, if so, pick up a copy. If not, don't.
Remember, you are the ONLY you expert! The more you practice listening to your own inner wisdom, the clearer it will get and the easier it will be to follow.
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